COVID-19 response

H-E-B pharmacies in Austin to open COVID-19 vaccine appointments

H-E-B pharmacies in Austin to open COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Pharmacy woman holding vaccine covid-19 coronavirus
H-E-B will open its appointment portal "in the coming days." Photo courtesy of H-E-B

In early December, H-E-B announced it would take part in the unprecedented rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, the San Antonio-based grocer is preparing to open its vaccine scheduler tool to the public at its pharmacies across Texas.

In a January 11 news release, the grocery chain said it has requested and is awaiting another allocation of vaccine from the State of Texas. Though the exact timeline is not known, H-E-B says it once it receives those doses, it will activate its online scheduling tool "in the coming days," so those who fall into the 1B category can begin to request appointments. 

"H-E-B has strong capacity to administer vaccine, however that depends on the quantity of Covid-19 vaccine allocated to us from the state of Texas," the grocer said in a release.

Currently, the Texas Department of State Health Services has approved vaccines for healthcare workers (1A) and those over 65 or those over 16 with one or more chronic medical condition (1B). Exactly who is eligible to receive the vaccine may soon change. On January 12, the Trump Administration said it will recommend giving a coronavirus vaccine to everyone over 65 in the country in an effort to speed up the sluggish, bumbled rollout of the vaccine.

Individuals who fall into either of these categories should note that appointments should only be made through the portal, and walk-ups will not be accepted. Healthcare providers with groups larger than 30 should email to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Following the directive from the state, our pharmacies will vaccinate people identified in Phase 1B if we have doses left after prioritizing healthcare providers in Phase 1A who are waiting to receive the vaccine," H-E-B said.

Each vial contains 10 doses of the COVID-19 dose that must be used within hours of opening. Once healthcare workers (that 1A category) have been prioritized, the government has authorized distributors to not waste doses, but rather give them to those in the next category.